• Eisi Mollanji & Yuvan Khandelwal

Event Summary: EyeExplore 2021

For medical students in a global pandemic, gaining exposure to medical and surgical specialties – including ophthalmology – has been tremendously difficult. Cancellation of all shadowing and elective opportunities have left students out to dry. Medical students at the University of Ottawa bravely took on the challenge of hosting their own virtual ophthalmology conference – EyeExplore 2021. The conference took place on April 24th and provided an opportunity for medical students across Canada to gain exposure to the field of ophthalmology through keynote speakers as well as case-based workshops.

The conference was an 8-hour information-packed experience that started off with three video-based presentations from attending ophthalmologists at the University of Ottawa.

● Dr. Kashif Baig started the show with “Ophthalmology: Much More Than Meets the Eye?”. He began with an insightful introduction to the field of ophthalmology and then delved into the topics of anterior segment and refractive surgery.

● Dr. Michael O’Connor brought endless enthusiasm in his presentation entitled: “Magic, Mysteries, and Mayhem: Inside the World of Pediatric Ophthalmology”.

● Dr. Garfield Miller gracefully closed the show with “Thriving Under Pressure - Embracing the Challenge of Glaucoma Management”.

Following a brief lunch break featuring a Q&A session with two uOttawa ophthalmology residents, the attendees separated into small groups to collaborate in case-based workshops led by residents from across the country.

● Ophthalmology in Primary Care with Dr. Weronika Jakubowska

● Basic Ophthalmology Skills with Dr. Alison Banwell

● Ocular Emergencies with Dr. Antony Théogène

● Common Ocular Presentations with Dr. Cameron Oliver

After an exciting period of trivia and awards, the full-day conference hosting roughly 50 attendees had finally come to its end. Well-run events like EyeExplore 2021 are critical for attracting interest and potential talent to ophthalmology, while serving as a medium to connect medical students, residents, and staff. The enthusiasm towards these kinds of initiatives was clear among the event’s attendees, and COSIG looks forward to building on this during the upcoming COSIG Annual Meeting 2021 on May 29th.

The EyeExplore Executive Team:

Eisi Mollanji is a 2nd year medical student at the University of Ottawa and a COSIG Representative for the University of Ottawa. Yuvan Khandelwal is a 1st year medical student at the University of Ottawa who has become involved in ophthalmology-focused initiatives.